A Ryanair crew member has been accused of bullying and intimidating behaviour towards a customer after she mislaid part of her ticket stub.
Fiona Kehily told the Huffington Post UK that while she accepted the misplacing of the ticket stub was entirely her fault, the manner in which it was dealt with was "unprofessional, incredibly rude and aggressive", resulting in her feeling humiliated and bursting into tears.
Kehily was flying between London Stansted and Cork, Ireland earlier this month. While waiting to board, a member of the Ryanair checking desk travelled along the queue and tore off the top part of the boarding pass to speed up the boarding process.
Unfortunately, the customer accidentally threw away the top part of the boarding pass along with some other rubbish, but retained the bottom part of the boarding pass, enabling her to be scanned at security and cleared to board the plane.
The bottom part of the boarding pass was scanned and kept by the ground attendant, but it wasn't until Kehily had boarded the steps to the plane that she realised her mistake in throwing the other part away.
She informed the female attendant, who was head of the crew on the flight of her honest mistake, but instead of accepting Kehily's explanation and seeking a way to confirm her story, the attendant became "incredibly rude and aggressive", repeatedly, loudly and angrily shouting at her to to "do something productive and look for your pass".
Kehily told Huff Post UK that she attempted several times to tell the crew member that the bottom part of the pass was in the bin at the boarding gate, but the crew member continued to cut her off and talk over her.
She said: "I was visibly distressed at this stage and to be entirely honest, I was absolutely humiliated by the way she spoke to me in front of other passengers.
"She repeatedly said how she didn't believe I didn't have my pass because 170 other people had theirs. She actively blamed me for making us late when in fact, if she had delegated the job to the idle crew member next to her, it would have been sorted without delay.
"The conversation was entirely unprofessional and inappropriate. I was so upset that I started crying hard as I left the plane with a gentleman from the ground staff."
The ground staff member listed to Kehily's plight and acknowledged she had been treated "very badly" by the Ryanair crew member.
"He told me he would have a 'quiet word' once he saw that I boarded safely. The ground staff checked that I was indeed scanned and I was allowed back on the plane," said Kehily.
Kehily felt so humiliated by the experience that she cried for most of the journey.
"I feel utterly bullied by that person, I hope that nobody else has to go through it. I cant imagine what her staff go through if she treats her customers so abominably. We all have stressful jobs and work long hours; I wouldn't dream of treating someone that badly in life or in a workplace environment.
"I accepted responsibility for losing the ticket stub, of course. But it was a very honest mistake and I did not deserve that treatment, especially when I am a paying customer. Imagine if I'd been going home for a funeral, sick or even pregnant!"
Ryanair’s head of communications Stephen McNamara told the Huffington Post UK: “Ryanair will address this passenger’s feedback with the crew member in question, and apologises if we failed to deliver the high service levels we consistently provide to over 225,000 passengers each day across over 1,400 daily flights.”